Rarely has an election felt more critical to the health and well-being of our constitutional civil liberties than the election on November 4, 2008. Nationally respected Americans with differing perspectives, John Dean, Robert Scheer, and Ruben Navarrette, will debate the critical issues and help voters sort through the campaign hype to make their voting decisions.

Reserve your seats TODAY!
To discuss the 2008 election from all points of view, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties and the alternative weekly newspaper, San Diego CityBeat, invite you to:

Free Public Forum
“Civil Liberties Under Fire: Election 2008”
Thursday, October 30, 7 pm
Birch North Park Theatre

2891 University Avenue, San Diego 92104
ACLU at UCSD invites you to an all-age no-host Happy Hour
at Hawthorn’s (next door to theatre) at 5 pm

Tickets are FREE but you must RSVP to secure your seat(s). You may reserve up to 4 seats per person.


  • John Dean was counsel to Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, and has emerged as a vocal critic of President George W. Bush’s domestic spying program, drawing comparisons between the actions and attitudes of the current administration and the abuse of executive power and defiance of the law by the Nixon White House.
  • Robert Scheer is a veteran journalist of more than 40 years writing a tough–sometimes scathing–opinion column that is nationally syndicated. He is a plaintiff in the ACLU v. AT&T lawsuit, fighting to stop the illegal warrantless government spying on the calls and emails of ordinary Americans.
  • Ruben Navarrette is a nationally syndicated columnist and an editorial board member of the San Diego Union-Tribune and a regular commentator for CNN. Navarette draws on both his knowledge of policy and politics and his life experiences to provide meaningful and hard-hitting commentary.
  • Moderator: Amita Sharma, investigative reporter for KPBS Radio.

With an administration for the past seven years that has thwarted our civil liberties in a concerted attempt to increase the power of the executive branch of government, electing a new president who will restore our lost liberties and hold those accountable who have broken the law is crucial. Vital civil liberties issues that the ACLU advocates in a new administration include:

  • Banning torture by the government, without exceptionClosing Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and either try those detained there under criminal law or send them to countries where they won’t be tortured or held without charge
  • Ending the practice of extraordinary rendition – kidnapping people and sending them to countries where they are likely to be tortured
  • Ending warrantless spying and restoring critical constitutional checks and balances when our government wants to spy on Americans
  • Ordering a complete review of government watch lists and limiting the names on the lists to those for whom there is credible evidence of terrorist ties or activities
  • Rescinding the “Ashcroft Doctrine,” which encourages agencies to withhold records requested under the Freedom of Information Act
  • Directing the attorney general and other relevant agency heads to end government monitoring of political activists and to stop using racial profiling in deciding whom to investigate
  • Directing the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to renew and restore enforcement of civil rights laws that protect minorities from discrimination
  • Suspending the regulations for the Real ID Act, which will turn driver’s licenses into national ID cards, pending a congressional review
  • Rescinding President Bush’s “Global Gag Rule,” which denies family planning funding to overseas organizations that may promote or perform abortions with their own funds
  • Expanding workplace protections for LGBT employees, by ordering federal contractors to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in their workplaces
  • Implementing a federal death penalty moratorium and document the racial disparities inherent in the system
  • Ensuring that no one endures religious discrimination when applying for a job or receiving services funded by the government under the administration’s “Faith-Based Initiatives.”

In the past, these events have filled and over-filled the capacity of the theater, so Reserve your spot today!
If you don’t have access to email, send a note with the number of tickets you are requesting to:
ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties
ATTN: Election Forum
P.O. Box 87131
San Diego, CA 92138-7131

ACLU Non-Partisan Voter Guide

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